posted on Aug, 3 2007 @ 04:42 AM
I've got a question gnawing at me, and it just doesn't make any sense.
Why, if all factors are as represented, wouldn't any nation that desired to do so be able to create a nuclear weapon in a very short time?
The process is scarcely more difficult than running an aggregate mine.
You blast pitchblende deposits, you crush the pitchblende and separate out lighter materials using screens and augers, you build sealed, heated tanks
to mix the uranium dioxide with fluorine, you use simple but inefficient thermal diffusion to enrich it without running into equipment problems, you
take a few hundred pounds worth of the stuff, place it at the core of a well engineered high explosive device to implode it to a density at which the
present mass will achieve criticality, you put your heavy, dirty, low-yield bomb into a truck, you drive it to something you don't like, you get out
of the truck, you leave, you trigger the bomb, and you spend the rest of your life hiding under a rock and dreading that this just might be the day
that the Marines find you.
It doesn't even become a difficult exercise until you try to shrink it down to warhead size by using non-naturally occuring isotopes such as U-233,
try to increase the yield beyond a few kilotons, or try to circumvent the admittedly painstaking enrichment process by using more efficient but more
complex and more tightly controlled technologies-
and those are bad things from a covert point of view anyway, because U-235 is harder to detect than other fissile materials because it has far and
away the lowest decay heat and lowest neutron generation, and would not be traceable to anything other than the site where the uranium was mined, and
frankly I wouldn't be surprised if it was possible to get away with mining it covertly in the US.
So: What exactly is not as advertised? What that we don't know about has prevented Iran from already testing its first nuke? Afterall, it really
doesn't matter if their nuke is way too big for a missile and only packs a few kilotons- once they have the bomb at all they are nearly
It seems to me that the only way they wouldn't be doing it is if the US had a secret standing policy of attacking facilities, which made it necessary
for nations thinking of pulling such a stunt to get their materials all in one shot, via black market or theft, in order to have a weapon ready before
the US could react.